A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

161 letters found

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To Mrs. Helen StowellMay 31, 1889 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Won Latin prize at end of school year. Grades of 90 in rhetoric, 95 in Latin, and 100s in physics, astronomy, and ancient history. Teacher wrote a message in report card praising her literary interests. Has fixed up a room at father's office as a library. Is reading the Latin Bible, astronomy, geology, history, Homer, Milton, Swinburne, Ouida, and George Sand. Sister Jessie in school musicale yesterday. Mother, Mrs. Wiener, Mrs. Garber, and husbands [Charles F. Cather, Charles F. Wiener, and Silas Garber] had a picnic. Longs to go to Europe. Mary Miner doing well at piano. P.S.: As usual, Cather house is a gathering place for young people to flirt.  William Cather, Jr.   [Stout #2]

To Mariel GereAug. 1, 1893 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Has been lonely since Louise's visit. Tried to bribe James to leave them alone. Spent a few days at uncle's home near other families from Virginia. Aunt hosted a "literary" at which a truly atrocious singer did twelve songs. Climbed the windmill in the evening and enjoyed the sight of moonlight glistening on ponds and corn tassels. Had to pull off skirts to climb down when a storm approached. Roscoe away haying, but when he gets back they will go up the river to their island. Baby brother Jack has been ill. Please greet a certain blonde [Louise?] if she sees her. Drove her about the countryside with one hand or none, but she didn't object. Still dreams about it. Don't read that part to Ned [Ellen] and Frances.    Cather   [Stout #15]

To Mariel GereMay 2, 1896 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Appreciates her help getting through scrapes during years at the university. Now another one. Keeps making a fool of herself! Keeps trying on personas (the scholarly, the bohemian)! Would consider suicide but knows her stupidities spring from liking someone too well. People always watching her, waiting for her to do something unusual. Feels superficial and useless where she is. Little brother Jack is the one consolation. Has been to a dance with Douglass and actually enjoyed it. Miner girls there. Met a Miss [Anna] Gayhardt and talked all night. Can't talk like this to Katharine [Weston], of course. Hopes to get up to Lincoln soon. Professor Bates very happy in his new job.    Willa   [Stout #24]

To Mr. George Seibel and Mrs. Helen SeibelJune 21, 1897 on Home Monthly letterhead ; WCPM 

Enjoyed Saturday evening. Probably will not see them again before she leaves. Jack will enjoy the brownies [rubber stamp] being sent by Erna [Seibels' baby].    Willa Cather   [Stout #38]

To Mrs. George SeibelJuly 23, 1897 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Probably will not go back to Pittsburgh until September. Magazine has been sold. Will try to get a newspaper job. Afraid Mr. Seibel has not been paid. Jack enjoying the brownies [rubber] stamp. Is going hunting with older brother in August. Is sending Erna [Seibels' baby] a spoon. P.S.: Has been reading Charles Lamb's Dramatic Essays.  Willa Cather   [Stout #40]

To Hon. William E. ChandlerNov. 29, 1907, from PittsburghNHHS 

Is it true he has a diary kept by Dr. E. J. Foster that quotes many of Mrs. Eddy's sayings? May she have access to it? Would quote only with his approval.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #132]

To E. J. Overing, Jr.,  [President of the Red Cloud Board of Education] Apr. 30, 1909 [letter read at 1909 commencement exercises and published in the Red Cloud Chief May 27, 1909] ; WCPM , also Bohlke.

Had hoped to be there for commencement, but is leaving for London on business. Has kept up with Red Cloud schools through brothers and sisters. Remembers with love Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Goudy and Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Case. Mrs. Case, then Miss King, was principal when she first entered the school. Remembers her first teacher and some of her fellow pupils. Always tried to please Miss King, who helped and advised her all through high school—even tried to teach her algebra, an impossibility. Hard to believe it has been nineteen years since she graduated. Best wishes to the new graduates. They should try to live up to their teachers' goals for them.    Willa Cather   [Stout #159]

To Mrs. George P. Cather [Aunt Franc]Jan. 5, 1910, from 82 Washington Place, New YorkUNL-Ray 

Wishing her a belated happy New Year. Has been managing the magazine by herself since returning to New York in the fall. Has been unwell, so has had not only little time but little energy. Isabelle McClung with her from early November through Christmas; helped a great deal with shopping and the training of a new maid, so the apartment is now very pleasant. Always feels homesick at Christmas; seems everyone in New York suffers from homesickness then. Last year went to the children's service at Trinity Church on Christmas Eve and people were crying all around her. Probably wishing to be back at some small town. Is glad Jack and Elsie put out holly and evergreens in the cemetery for her at Christmas. Both such nice children. Elsie will be nicer when she gets older and not so sure of herself. Enjoys thinking of Bessie [Elizabeth Seymour] and Auntie [Sarah Andrews, sister of Mary Virginia Cather] being together and less burdened by care. Used to find it so hard not being able to do anything for them. Mother seems in better spirits lately. Is anticipating a Grand Jury investigation as a result of McClure's articles on Tammany and prostitution. Expects to go to London again in a few months but hopes to get back to Nebraska in the summer. Hopes to have as nice a visit as this past summer, when Mother did not seem to begrudge her visiting in the country. Please let her known if Bess and Auntie need anything. Sends love and best wishes.   Willie   [Stout #168]

To Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant,  Sunday [pm. Sept. 28, 1914] , from PittsburghPM 

Back from an active summer. Brought along her twenty-year-old brother, who is enrolled at Carnegie Technical. Couldn't put the war out of her mind even when she was in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains [in northern New Mexico]. Shouldn't hear any more about suffrage and such for a while. Recent issues of Punch make one realize how solid England is. Kipling's recent speech was splendid. Will be in New York in October but only for a week; wants to keep working on her book in Pittsburgh until the first of the year.   Willa   [Stout #287]

To Mrs. George P. Cather [Aunt Franc]Nov. 17, [1914], from PittsburghUNL-Ray  copy at WCPM

Has been working well. Expects to be in Pittsburgh until Christmas. Jack doing well at school; sees him often. War occupies all conversation. A friend from Belgium, Mme Flahant, is in New York and says her family members in Brussels are starving. The Belgian Relief Committee in London says that only the U.S. can sustain Belgium through the winter. Germans allow no food in that comes through England or France. Will donate to the relief fund instead of sending Christmas presents. America will have to answer to history if it fails Belgium.   Willie   [Stout #289]